PIKEVILLE, Tenn.–The Battle for the Stump has had its fair share of last-minute theatrics, but Friday night, the Warriors simply walked off the court with a challenging, but solid, victory over rival Sequatchie County, 52-42.
Checking off its seventh straight win and going undefeated in 2017 thus far, Bledsoe County stepped onto court a little weary taking on a rival just one day after defeating another.
“Pregame, I couldn’t get my girls to quit chit-chatting,” Lady Warriors head coach Carlos Davis said. “They’re so hyped for game like this. It’s hard to get them focused. In a rivalry game like this, it’s fun to play in, coach in, and you never know what the outcome is going to be. They were missing one of their players that was crucial for them, but her replace did pretty well.”
Ireland Burch was absent from the lineup do to personal reasons, but Rileigh Belk stepped in and kept the Warriors in range for the entirety of the matchup down in the post.
“It hurts not to have her on the court,” Indians head coach Ron Davis said. “You’ve got to play with what you’ve got, though. We’re not going to make excuses. She’s a huge part of our team, but when someone’s not there, everybody else has to pick it up a little bit.”
The Lady Warriors picked up a 13-4 lead at the end of the first quarter, but Sequatchie County was not out of the ball game just yet. Jordan Smith and Gracie Tate pulled the Indians within six points late in the second period, but Lynnsey Keener and company would push it to a 9-point margin at halftime.
“They’ve just got some good man-to-man stuff going on,” R. Davis said. “Their guards can play, and defensively they did a great job keeping us from getting too close in the first half.”
Bledsoe County push a nice cushion on in the 3rd quarter as they went up by 15 at one point. It wasn’t until the fourth quarter that Sequatchie County would pull it back down to single digits.
“We got a little stagnant there in the fourth quarter,” C. Davis said. “We were missing our shots and getting lazy with them. We weren’t real crisp at that point. It was so hot in the gym tonight that I think we got a little fatigued there at the end.”
Tired or not, the Warriors picked up the 10-point win that puts them in the driver’s seat among 7-AA competition, and with a matchup scheduled with Signal Mountain Tuesday, they could take exclusive control of the district.
For The Indians, though, one Warrior face was all too familiar as sophomore Brittany Singleton started her third career ‘Battle for the Stump’ on the opposite side of the scoring table.
“If we would have had Singleton, the game wouldn’t have been close,” R. Davis said. “We don’t have her, but I didn’t mention it this week in practice because I knew our kids would be fired up and ready to play.”
While the Lady Warriors travel to Signal Mountain Tuesday, Sequatchie County will be preparing to host Notre Dame in another 7-AA matchup.
SCHS — 4 | 11 | 7 | 20 || 42
BCHS — 13 | 11 | 13 | 15 || 52
SCHS (42) — Jordan Smith (16), Jenifer Tholken (11), Peyton Longson (6), Gracie Tate (6)
BCHS (52) — Lynnsey Keener (17), Christian Roberts (10), Halee Wagner (8)